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Anti-intellectualism and cargo cults - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jun. 14th, 2006

12:22 am - Anti-intellectualism and cargo cults

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Date:June 15th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
Thanks for your reply.

I am a teacher myself (graduate teaching assistant). The questions in my mind when I have to formulate an exam: does it cover a good chunk of the material with escalating degrees of depth, to really test their knowledge? How do I maintain uniformity given the various thinking styles in the class? In the case of take-home exams, etc., how do I maintain control?

Given the sterile nature of an exam, it's not really a simulation of real life like a project or take-home exam might be. However, it is precise and controlled, which hopefully means some finer grain in dissecting a student's understanding, and some repeatability in the score. To the extent that no one real-life situation is that great a simulation of another, exams are just one more "real-life" instance that we can control easily.

So, accommodations can make sense: the point of the exam is to pick apart a student's learning. Things like time and other assistance, while they might diminish some secondary figure of merit in exam-based testing, are useful since they help in the exam's primary purpose and are not much of a hurdle in the real world.
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